Airstream: Income while on the Road
When we purchased our 2006 23 foot Airstream, it was already ten years too late to use it for my original idea.
Having the trailer turned into a Coors Can from the Golden, Colorado brewery was a thought for pay came to mind... but naw... I like local craft beers at the time we purchased the trailer.
Great idea #1:
Fossil Vertebrate Collecting and Preparation while on the road.
The Badlands of Western Nebraska and Eastern Wyoming are mostly on Private Ranches. Most would charge you nothing or up to $20 a day collecting on their ranch. You could keep all you found. I had helped dig mud out of irrigation ditches and ride a tractor back and forth to turn hay over to dry in the sun... for permanent any time I wanted to come collect. It cost me time and it cost the Ranch nothing.
Once I had purchased the Airstream in 2006... the Ranches changed hands once or twice. Some were asking for a "lease to collect" for $2,000. Corporate Ranch buyers did not want the liability of someone falling into a gully from 100 feet and eaten by coyotes. My "dream" was over.
I wanted to collect. Prepare. Advertise on the internet to sell. Ship at whichever Post Office that was the closest to our current campsite.
Great idea #2:
Write short articles and supply photographs on Boondocking.
My first and last magazine contacted wanted nothing of it. Write and deliver for Free, or nothing at all. The old saying "your writing has to get something in return, as it is only worth what you can sell it for." Or something like that.
I tried to get a free subscription. No deal.
I might have asked if I could get a "free ad" in the magazine. No deal.
I offered an associate editor to experience Off the Grid to write it. No deal.
Great idea #3:
Concentrate on my knowledge of Geology to discover things of "value".
Any space that was producing anything of value from a hole in the ground had been claimed, deeded and either operating for pay to enter... or the fence was tall and the signs were easy to understand. Keep Out
After a couple attempts to dig Fire Opal in NW Nevada in the Virgin Valley... $200 per person, per day. Well... OK, but I want to take a look at the quarry and see if it had been dug out or the condition of the backfill, etc.
Nope. $200 per day... PER person. What if my wife just watched me in the sun getting leg cramps and sore back. Nope. $200 per day... PER person.
Not far away were thousands of black obsidian "Apache Tears" to be picked up for free. Collected a hundred or so and gave them to kids living next to my parent's home in Independence, Missouri.
Hey... Nevada Fire Opal is NOT Australian fire opal at all. It has too much water and will crack if you do not have it, your ring or material, stored in glycerin is the only option or your stones are ruined. It was pretty in the display case... but not at $400 a day and not being able to see what there was to... dig.
Great idea #4:
Metal Detect and Pan Gold in the Rockies.
To make it short... panning... back breaking for $2.00 a day in fine placer gold.
I did OK metal detecting with a decent modern White's, but not gold dust or nuggets. This I am keeping to myself. I figured out how to find "good stuff" the hard way. Found more gold than all of my time panning with one find.
Great idea #5:
Hit the geology/mining books for obscure locations with possibly volcanic caustic hydro... anything deposits. (I now have over 20,000 books in my... library.)
I found the Mother Lode.
For a number of years my wife and I collected very unusual Chalcedony rosettes that had shapes I had never seen. This is a common form of Agate, but had shapes like curled potato chips, buttons, wax droppings, flat record shapes with growth rings... just real unusual. These were known only under a... microscope. Mine did not exist!
Even those studying agates said these things could not exist when I sent samples. They were ground up at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom for the chemistry and dated... 35 to 38 million years old! They were correct in the age bracket! Was I impressed.
I had a friend who sold jewelry on EBay take one nice one. He took photographs and I did the description. I cannot recall what it sold for, but I had a LOT. Shortly afterwards ANOTHER collector listed them on EBay as New Mexico Rosettes and they were digging them fresh along the Mexican / New Mexico / Arizona border. Beautiful and unusual. High prices. I checked my geological maps and could find the EXACT location as they occur in a special volcanic. I was told at the University of New Mexico, Soccoro at the Museum... they were already aware of this claim. Some asking in the $50 to $100 range. EACH. Everyone was keeping it quiet until my specimen showed up.
I will have to high grade mine and see how things go...
Shall I go on? I did get into Geology Books... but now lets hear YOUR excuse to buy your Airstream.
Oh. We love the camping while "prospecting". Some day... Maybe not produce any outside income in the process... but I have more ideas and some day... all of you will be so envious, I will not tell you what or how I did it.